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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

We have been hearing about that F word since the dawn of time. Yup, Feminist.


Our country carries a generational history of women (and men) who used their voices to create and support the women's movement for equality. While successful (just look around at all the women who are living their best lives) the movement has also brought up camps of thought. Through differences of opinions, we have missed the point and created forts that only seem to be penetrable through homogeneous conformity. As we all know variety is the spice of life, so why not take a moment to listen to a different perspective? (Lord knows we could use some more listening in our lives.) Check out some general facts about feminism and womanism. Where are they the same, where are they different, and where do you land among the spectrum of thought.  

Note. In writing this, I found that it’s fitting to talk about this in our current political state of a racially divided country because these two terms derive from a racial divide in the movement for equality in women. beyonce feminist

Feminist; a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

Before you break out in the next verse of #Flawless sit with that definition.  To be a feminist was to use your voice (literally and physically to demand a level playing field. This is the thought of “pantsuits and burning bras”. To be feminist is to hold a sense of freedom and caution to the wind in the fight.

Now, let’s take a minute and think about the context of our world. Our country has always had a racial division at the core.  The racial division typically breeds a dominant power- which secures main access to advancement through control. In our society, the dominant power happens to be a white culture. Although there are levels to struggle (i.e., white female) the power in the one trait of being white has advantageous. With this identity, these feminists were able to use their privileged platform to further their struggle along. (Let’s break the glass ceiling ladies! Those CEO offices are ours!)

Womanism was born of this.


Well, known author and advocate Alice Walker (The Color Purple) creates a more inclusive picture of feminism by also taking into account the lack of privilege that is historically connected to identifying as a person of color.  Within systems of our society oppressions such as poverty, negative biases, lack of adequate education and opportunities hit areas of color a lot harder than their white counterparts. This poses a slew of other hurdles that women of color have to jump on the journey towards equality for all women. We call this intersectionality.  

Walker and others were simply wanting a more inclusive definition and understanding of the complexities to truly create space for all woman to achieve equality.  They knew that meant striving for equality among other levels were crucial as well. Womanism nods to this complexity but also fits within the goals of feminist but with a deeper understanding of the layers to oppression that exists beyond the male/ female dichotomy.

Alice Walker says “womanist is to feminist as purple is to lavender”. Say what? At the end of the day, Womanism and Feminism have the same goal of equality.  The vantage point is just different. I think it’s time we packed up our separate tents and unite as a tribe. Now more than ever we have to #believewomen and that means ALL woman.  We have to find our similarities and learn from our differences.

So put on your listening ears along with your red bandana and roll up your sleeves. Practice your best Rosie the Riveter face and let's get to learn more about different perspectives and rise together.  Wanna shout to the world you're a feminist for all? Check out our feminist gear here.